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ANIME EPISODE 5: THE END OF SUMMER

( Japanese title---"Natsu no Owari ni ~Long, long shadow~" 夏の終わりに)

Summary

After breakfast, Shuichi heads over to Saori's house, where several friends are already there. However, the script brainstorming session looks more like a birthday party, with cake, too ! Predictably, Saori is in a foul mood. Fumiya joins the little group, but drops a bombshell by 'outing' Shuichi, supposedly as a cross-dresser. That evening, Fumiya tries cross-dressing in front of the bathroom mirror, remarking favorably on the 'kawaii (cuteness) factor' of such. Meanwhile, Maho invites Anna to the school's cultural festival. At home, Shuichi is being comforted by Mako about being 'outed' at the earlier party.

A couple days later, at the last script writing session, the play is finished. Chi brings fireworks, so that the friends can celebrate the finish, as well as the end of summer.

After the start of school, the teacher, amazingly, has the players draw lots for the roles. In a surprise draw, Saori, not Yoshino, will play Romeo. And Mako, not Shuichi, will play Juliet. Later that day, Mako has regrets about being selected to play Juliet, whereas Saori wants the script rewritten so that everyone will die at the end of the play. Preparations and rehearsals begin, with Maho now reaffirming the desire to want to be Juliet. Anna, who is not in the play, does a photo shoot out in a public park. Rehearsals continue, with Saori redoubling her efforts to be an authentic female-to-male Romeo.

Plot

Maho is disappointed with breakfast, and is vocal about it, as Shuichi finishes up to go over to a friend's house to help finish the script for the class play. As Shuichi is walking, a young couple passes on a bicycle, and Shuichi admires the girl on the back of the bicycle sidesaddle, and the plain but pretty dress that the girl is wearing, blowing in the wind and showing her lovely bare legs.

The script writing session takes on the atmosphere of a birthday party when cake is introduced. Chi cuts the cake and distributes the slices. For some reason, this 'ticks-off' Saori, and she goes to the kitchen and begins to clean. Makoto goes to the kitchen to try and talk to her in order to calm her down, and they end up talking about the roles for the play. A latecomer, Fumiya, comes in and is offered a slice of cake. But when Shuichi offers him a fork, he drops a figurative anvil on Shuichi, by 'outing' them as a supposed cross-dresser. Many of the group do not know that Shuichi is a transgender child that dresses as their correct gender of a adolescent girl. Chi tries to put a positive spin on the bombshell comment, but to no avail. Yoshino rebukes Chi, and then leaves in a huff. Fumiya apologizes to Shuichi, but Shuichi brushes it off as unimportant. Later that evening, in his own home bathroom, Fumiya tries cross-dressing himself with a towel wrapped around like a strapless sundress, and a girl's headband, and is well pleased, declaring himself in the mirror to be 'so, so cute'.

Shuichi is back home now, as Maho and Anna talk in another room. Maho gives Anna a ticket to the school festival play. Makoto is talking to Shuichi, and is offering understanding and encouragement for the monkey business of being outed earlier today. The conservation is interrupted by a phone call from Yoshino, to Shuichi. After the call, Shuichi treasures the loving relationship with Yoshino, considering Yoshino to be a deep, personal friend.

A couple of days later, at the last group session for writing the script, the script is finally done ! Iced tea all around ! And . . . . Chi has brought fireworks to celebrate ! That evening, after dark, the writing group enjoys shooting off the fireworks. In a romantic show of friendship, Yoshino lights Shuichi's sparkler with their own, so that both sparklers are now shining together.

At the next school day, the teacher in a surprise move, has the roles for the characters in the play drawn by lottery, and not assigned to the best student actor or actress. This is quite displeasing to Saori, and she is not afraid to show it. The draw comes down to the last selections, and Saori draws the lot to be the female-to-male Romeo, and not Yoshino. Makoto draws the lot to be the male-to-female Juliet, and not Shuichi. Shuichi is not even in the play as an actress, but draws the lot to be the play's narrator.

Next day at school, Mako regrets being chosen to play Juliet, but makes the mistake of telling Saori, who rebukes Maho with her own flavorful brand of sarcasm. Saori's foul mood comes to a boil when she declares that the script of the play be altered to have everyone die at the end, not just Romeo and Juliet. Rehearsals and the building of the sets begin immediately. However, for the rest of the day, Saori continues to preach 'gloom and doom' for the play, even confronting the teacher to change the script to such a horrible ending. After school, the two of them alone, Mako talks intimately to Shuichi, and reverses their trepidation to now wanting to play Juliet. Later, Shuichi and Yoshino distribute tickets to the play, and also talk intimately with one another. They come upon a public park, and find Anna there, doing a photo shoot. After the shoot, Anna recognizes Shuichi, and indicates that she knows that Shuichi is perceived as a boy and is now dressed as a boy, but who wishes to be accepted as a girl. However, Anna assumes that Yoshino is supposedly a girl, but is cross-dressed as a boy, and that the two of them are boyfriend and girlfriend. Shuichi tries to correct the misunderstanding, but a disinterested Anna merely rips off another pix or two of the 'deeply in love' couple using her cell phone and leaves.

Rehearsals continue, with Saori as Romeo, and Mako as Juliet. But for each 'take', Mako loses self-confidence, while Saori's self-confidence is bolstered. After practice, Saori and Mako 'compare notes' on their acting abilities. Mako pledges to do better, with Saori saying in a threatening reply that " you had better do so ".

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